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Latest News on the Texas Residential Construction Commission
Monday, 15 December 2008

Express-News Capitol Update
The next test for the embattled Texas Residential Construction Commission comes Tuesday, when the Sunset Advisory Commission will decide whether to endorse a staff recommendation that the Legislature abolish the agency....Ten of the 12 members of the Sunset Advisory Commission are legislators, and, as I reported a few months ago, Perry has given those 10 more than $400,000 during their legislative careers. Hegar has received $64,500 from Perry, most of it during his first Senate race in 2006. Hegar said Perry's money won't affect his decision... When asked what he would do if the TRCC's future were up to him alone, Hegar stopped short of abolishing the agency. “I would probably get rid of the board and get rid of everybody and start all over from scratch,” he said.

Express-News Capitol Update
By Clay Robison
The next test for the embattled Texas Residential Construction Commission comes Tuesday, when the Sunset Advisory Commission will decide whether to endorse a staff recommendation that the Legislature abolish the agency.

Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, the Sunset vice chairman, said he isn't sure what will happen. He suspects that the Sunset panel may override the staff and vote to keep the TRCC, but overhaul it to make it more consumer-friendly.

“My sense is there are enough votes to continue this agency (TRCC) in some form or fashion rather than abolish it,” he said.

The TRCC was created in 2003 with the strong support of home builders, including mega-political donor Bob Perry of Houston, to offer builders more protection against being sued by unhappy customers.

The agency supposedly was expected to weed out bad actors from the building profession by strengthening industry standards. But consumer advocates have complained that the TRCC is little more than a protective umbrella for builders, and they applauded the Sunset staff”s recommendation to get rid of it.

Ten of the 12 members of the Sunset Advisory Commission are legislators, and, as I reported a few months ago, Perry has given those 10 more than $400,000 during their legislative careers. Hegar has received $64,500 from Perry, most of it during his first Senate race in 2006. Hegar said Perry's money won't affect his decision.

“I think I met the man one time in my life,” he said.

When asked what he would do if the TRCC's future were up to him alone, Hegar stopped short of abolishing the agency.

“I would probably get rid of the board and get rid of everybody and start all over from scratch,” he said.

Look for the latest news in Texas politics each Monday from Austin Bureau Chief Clay Robison.
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/Dewhurst_trying_to_work_out_a_deal_to_get_voter_ID_bill_passed.html

 
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Reckless Endangerment
BY: GRETCHEN MORGENSON
and JOSHUA ROSNER

Outsized Ambition, Greed and
Corruption Led to
Economic Armageddon


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